The History of Leith

May 16, 2012

The Mad Earl of Bothwell

In 1594 Restalrig was the scene of one of those
stormy raids that the “mad Earl of Bothwell”
caused so frequently, to the torment of James VI.
The earl, at the head of an armed force, was in
Leith, and broke out in open rebellion, when,
on the 3rd of April, the king, after sermon, summoned
the people of Edinburgh in arms, and moved
towards Leith, from whence Bothwell instantly
issued at the head of 500 mounted men-at-arms,
and took up a position at the Hawkhill near
Restalrig. Fearing, however, the strength of the
citizens, he made a detour, and galloped through
Duddingstone. Lord Home with his lances followed
him to ” the Woomet,” says Birrel, probably
meaning Woolmet, near Dalkeith, when Bothwell
faced about, and compelled him to retire in turn,
but not without bloodshed.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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